‘The Games People Play’, the children of Susiya

One village. One extended family, and a community of stunningly beautiful children.




cracking nuts

cracking nuts

They are reserved but sophistated in a way that shows they have been exposed to the world. Nasser Nawaalja, the spokesperson for the village has been networking to save his village of Susiya, in the South Hebron Hills. As we (EAPPI) provide protective presence, we watch delegations from around the world make their way to this small  farming village. Susiya has come to represent the fate of many small traditional villages in Palestine as they are under threat of demolition by the Israeli government.


cool dude!

cool dude!

The children live with this reality every day. Tomorrow, or the next day, the Israeli bulldozers could demolish their homes, as they have done in the past.  The UN believes, without International intervention, it  will happen again.


Serious girl stuff

The Israeli settlers, who live in an illegal settlement, are just 10 minutes away.  They periodically kill sheep, damage olive trees, destroy bee hives, throw rocks at the residents and for all this are protected by the Israeli army.

IMG_0464                           IMG_0480

Under this opressive situation the children go about their daily lives, much as any child does. We arrive just as school finishes for the summer. Remember. that joy of freedom? Up and out first thing in the morning, meeting  up with friends,  in and out of each others homes, and organizing our days without much intervention from adults.


you must go home!

you must go home!

Playing school, marbles, games like little sally saucer, statue, filling water balloons and well… watch out!.


We see them play, fight, kick the dogs, strangle the cat, bully/protect each other, tenderly take care of the little ones, push, pull, laugh, cry but seldom seek intervention from adults.

A tender moment for me is playing ‘Rock a Bye Baby’. All of them want a turn being rocked, even the older ones who have trouble fitting on my lap!

Then I teach them to jive to ‘Rock Around the Clock’ and they respond by teaching me a similar dance to  an Arabic song!

picking plums in  Susiya

picking plums in Susiya

Every child needs the security of a stable home and surroundings to grow into the adult they have the potential of becoming.

The children of Susiya and many other villages in Palestine need to be resilient. Until this conflict is ended, they will live their lives with the very real fear that disaster is just around the corner.

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6 Responses to ‘The Games People Play’, the children of Susiya

  1. Lorne LeDrew says:

    Pat. The Blog is a wonderful idea and provides an great understanding of the plight of the Palestinian people and the important role you are playing. We will be sharing it widely.

    God Bless


  2. easieryoke says:

    Reblogged this on Sharing Common Sacred Ground and commented:
    Thanks to our Canadian friends sent by the United Church of Canada for being on the ground in solidarity and accompaniment, and telling the world in real time what is happening.

  3. sherry ann says:

    Reblogged this on Peacing Stories and commented:
    Three Canadian women are currently placed as Ecumenical Accompaniers as part of a special EAPPI team (www.eappi.org) in the occupied West Bank, particularly in the South Hebron Hills in the village of Susiya. Like many other Palestinian villages, it is under a demolition order. The Susiya village council plans to appear in the Israeli Supreme Court on August 3, 2015. And yet, the bulldozers have already arrived in Susiya and appear ready to demolish the village before that date. No stop order for demolition was issued to prevent destruction prior to the court date. As one of the Canadian EAs reports, the UN is concerned that Canada is not stepping forward like the British government and the European Union to denounce home demolitions. Another EA offers this blog posting (below). Please write to your Canadian MP, the Prime Minister, and the Canadian Ambassador to Israel and Palestine to ask that the Israeli government not proceed with this or other Palestinian home demolitions.

  4. Reiner Loewan says:

    It’s always very touching to read about children, as they are so innocent politically, and no matter how poor, they find creative ways to play together.
    It is hard to imagine having to continually live with the fear that your home may be destroyed at any time and to live with the injustice as a way of life.

    It is good to be reminded of the Palestinian situation and that it is not getting any better.

    thanks Sherry Ann for sharing.

  5. Eileen Kavanagh says:

    Pat your blog helps me realize that the people in Susiya are just like the people here in my Newfoundland town but with one big difference. We do not have to worry that our houses and everything we spent a lifetime building might be bulldozed down at any time and we could do nothing to defend it. I can’t imagine the stress that these people are under and bless you and all the EAPPI team for risking your own lives to try to bring some comfort and peace to those people.

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